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#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings: Tigers in Red Weather


"I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse," Helena said.
- p. 1

For Friday 56:
"Nick, you really are impossible. You want too much. It's like flying in the face of God, as Mother used to say.
- p. 56

Synopsis Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann*: Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha's Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their 'real lives': Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.

Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena's husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena--with their children, Daisy and Ed--try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same. Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.


***

Another old favourite that I enjoyed in 2012, a debut novel by Liza Klaussmann. Here's my review

I enjoyed Klaussmann's writing so much that I also read her Villa America last year.  A little bit of trivia: did you know that Klaussmann is the great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville!


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#BookmarkMonday (260): Shakespeare (outrageous price!)



Not all bookmarks are equal. This Shakespeare Hamlet bookmark* is a work of art that with its outrageous price tag (C$673!) and better belongs under glass on the wall, rather than potentially lurking and getting lost in a book.

This artisanal bookmark is created by SilverLeaf,* a company in Italy. It is entirely handcrafted with silver. If you love beautiful things, I encourage you to check out the video on SilverLeaf* Etsy page to fully appreciate the thought and craftsmanship behind each of these works of art.


If you had this much money to blow away on a bookmark, would you spend it? What design would you get?

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Guiltless Reading

#BookmarkMonday is a weekly meme that started in 2009. Link up your bookmark below! Don't forget to share your love for bookmarks, whether yours or you dream of making them yours:
  • Post about it on your blog/twitter/pinterest and link up below. 
  • Or share your pic with the #BookmarkMonday hashtag on Twitter so I can go check it out! 
  • If you'd like to post on the #BookmarkMonday Pinterest Board, shoot me an email at readerrabbit22 at gmail.com and I'll add you as a contributor.


Link Up HERE!

#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings: Perla


Some things are impossible for the mind to behold. So listen, if you can, with your whole being. The story pushes and demands to be told, here, now, with you so close and the past even closer, breathing at the napes of our necks.
- p. 3

For Friday 56:
Now she looks him right in the eyes and the room goes bright, too bright, and something in her stare slices him open, the ease is gone and the disgust is back and there is something else, too, something new that fills him with confusion.
- p. 56

About Perla by Carolina de Robertis*: A coming-of-age story, based on a recent shocking chapter of Argentine history, about a young woman who makes a devastating discovery about her origins with the help of an enigmatic houseguest. Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires, with a cold, polished mother and a straitlaced naval officer father, whose profession she learned early on not to disclose in a country still reeling from the abuses perpetrated by the deposed military dictatorship. Perla understands that her parents were on the wrong side of the conflict, but her love for her papá is unconditional. But when Perla is startled by an uninvited visitor, she begins a journey that will force her to confront the unease she has suppressed all her life, and to make a wrenching decision about who she is, and who she will become.

***

I am revisiting an old favourite. You can find out why I loved this so much in my review, written four years ago! Hint: it has shades of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

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Have you revisited any old favourites lately?

You can mess with my mind anytime, Ms. Flynn! {Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn}



Ms. Flynn, you got me. 

About Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn*: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My two cents

(What a great book to jolt me out of my reviewing slump!)

I'm obsessed with this book.

I know I am late in joining the Gone Girl bandwagon but I'm hopping on, willingly, and with guns blazing. Because it's been a while since I've read a book so utterly engrossing and so utterly ... brilliant. I finished it ... and promptly reread it. (I'm still in the the throes of the reread, and I'm just enjoying it even more.)

I can't get into the detail of this book without spoiling it for first time readers (or movie watchers) so I will simply leave the storyline alone: a quick review that is spoiler-free but may be somewhat cryptic in places.

So, I'm obsessed. Here's why:

It's unpredictable

This entire book is a brilliant mind game played between a hubby and wife, and unwittingly a mind game that Gillian Flynn plays on her readers. There are two parts to this book and I've realized that readers either will play along with Ms. Flynn or simply hate it. It's a polarizing experience -- love it or hate it -- with a passion. I was dazed when I finished it. I went "Oh sh**" then heaved a sigh reeking of "OMG" and surprisingly, wallowed in the reality that is the twistedness and perversion that I had just read.

It's psychologically insightful

Know the whole he said, she said shebang? This is the ultimate. This is all about a marriage and highlights the very intimate mind meld relationship that can exist between a couple. It can pendulum from the good to the bad, and this particular book shows the extremes that are often difficult to stomach.

Another interesting dichotomy explored is the wide difference between reality (private persona) versus public perception. The role of media -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- are fully expounded upon in the storyline. How many times have you passed judgment on a case or a person based on what you heard in the news, saw on TV, or even social media? We all do it. In this day of easy access to information, forming opinion based on the constant stream of fact (and plenty of fiction) is an easy trap to fall into.

Lastly, I can't believe that I fell for Flynn's "game" so easily. The way that this story is structured out makes me want to read more of her work, for the simple  (and awesome) reason that she has so much insight into her very readers' psychology. Not all authors can pull off a mind game so brilliantly, so annoyingly, and so effectively. Kudos, Gillian Flynn.

It can actually happen (scarily so)

In the back of my mind, what really struck me about Gone Girl is that it's very possible that this could happen, and to anyone. It's a difficult thing to accept that no one can really know any one person, no matter how close we can be, whatever relationship can bear some uncertainty. But it's doubly difficult to know someone's deepest, truest, and ugliest self ... and if not being able to accept it, to at least be able to acknowledge and understand.


Verdict:

Looking for a mind trip? Try Gone Girl. Then tell me if you're in the love or hate camp!

Highly recommended reading for those who despise predictable, cookie cutter characters and willingly desire to be surprised, shocked and challenged.



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© guiltless readingMaira Gall